Mar 23, 2012, 6:04 PM EST
Mark Gottfried really can’t lose tonight. Even if N.C. State’s NCAA tournament run ends in the Sweet 16 tonight, there’s no doubt he’s fully and completely embraced by his players, Wolfpack fans and his boss, athletic director Debbie Yow.
The regular season had some ups and downs – State is 24-12 and didn’t beat UNC or Duke – but last week’s wins against San Diego State and Georgetown showcased a team that’s peaking and playing together perfectly.
That’s a credit to Gottfried.
“He’s a survivor,” Yow told the Fayetteville Observer. “He balances that voice of experience with this youthful energy and enthusiasm that nothing is impossible. He puts those two traits together, you get a pretty special person and a very special coach. He’s a leader; you can see that the players follow him. They trust him.”
How’d he do it?
“It’s my job to convince my team that we are good enough,” Gottfried told the paper. “We have to become good enough. It’s not smoke and mirrors. It’s not something you can just talk about. We have to get better, and we did get better.”
Friday night’s game against 2-seed Kansas could end that run. The Wolfpack are 8.5-point underdogs. But the future’s bright when you’ve got a coach in hand that starts like this.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
- Weekend Preview: Duke-Virginia, an MVC showdown and UNC-Louisville 2
- Duke dismisses reserve shooting guard from program 13
- Chase for 180: Already a good shooter, Tyler Harvey’s been even better in 2014-15 0
- Film Session: The case for Jerian Grant as National Player of the Year 1
- Jerian Grant, No. 8 Notre Dame erase another double-digit deficit as they beat No. 4 Duke 7
- Late Night Snacks: No. 8 Notre Dame outlasts No. 4 Duke in a thriller 2
- 2015 McDonald’s All-American rosters announced 2
- Duke dismisses reserve shooting guard from program (13)
- Jerian Grant, No. 8 Notre Dame erase another double-digit deficit as they beat No. 4 Duke (7)
- Bill Self on the loss of Kansas-Missouri rivalry: ‘It hasn’t been great’ (5)
- Coach K earns career win No. 1,000 in No. 5 Duke’s win over St. John’s (4)
- Kentucky lands commitment from international Class of 2016 big man (4)